Friday, December 7, 2007

The gift of Success

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who is also dyslexic and she was struggling with writing and I asked for my assistance in creating successful methodologies to create written material. At some point in the conversation I asked her; does she have any examples of success in her writing practice and her answer was: no.

I was astonished.

I always underestimate my ability to be speechless. I was astonished that she had never had a writing teacher who recognized that success breeds success and that you have to start where the student is at – instead of where the standards say you should start.

Statistics and the teaching to the middle of the curve have done more harm to more people then almost any other idea in teaching. I find myself upset (again) that my friend who went through 18 years of public education has not one example of feeling successful with a piece of writing.

But then a very strange feeling come over me – I realized that I was grateful for a little piece of the MS I Education, BA in Human Ecology and HS degree that I have hammered through. I am grateful for those handful of teachers who saw that I clearly could not create written material on level with my peers, but I could write at my level and my ability and that would do very nicely thank you.

Sometimes is felt like I was a thirsty man walking through a desert – just looking for a place to drink. Thank God for compassion - thank God that I missed no child left untested. I call on writing teachers every where challenge yourself to challenge your students to their next level, not grade standard and not the middle of the curve.

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